School starts this week

Holy buckets. School starts this week. I’m not totally prepared because the thought of it gets pushed away.

On really sunny days thinking about them going back to school is a bummer. I’m too cool for school. Don’t tell my kids I said that. I’ll have a kindergartener and a fourth grader. Yes, our kids have a hearty age gap. And I doubt we’re done having kids either so keep your opinions to yourself!

Ok, sorry. It’s just the pressure of school never really hits until the week before. I’d like to say the pressure hit weeks ago and the backpack I’ve ordered has come in and we’re all gumdrops and dandy. We’re not. Thank God there’s a Walmart within 10 miles.

I’d like to say that I’ve got my ducks in a row, but that would be boring.

You were present this summer, right? Most gorgeous summer. Ever. It was bright, hot, clear skies, just begging to be discovered. If you’re not from around here, usually our summers have more clouds, rain, and averages around 65 degrees. We did not hold back! Well, as far as kid-friendly adventures go anyways, nothing too intense without daddy. We went swimming in three different lakes, a creek, and the ocean. We lived on the beach. We got sand in places that have never been exfoliated before. My son experienced what they call, “sunburn” on his neck.

It was so nice that even my kids’ soccer games were a challenge. It was almost too nice to be stuck on a field, especially if you’ve been doing it year after year. The magic dwindles when you live there four days a week. The last couple games for my older kid, us fellow parents high-fived that we were off the hook. Some had already checked out mid-season. Lucky punks. Grateful for amazing coaches though.

When school is out for summer, not having a routine immediately feels sloppy. If you’re like me, a stay at home mom, you go from routine to basically a free for all. Life goes from eggs benedict to scrambled.

Truthfully, in the beginning I had a wee bout of summer blues. All of my regular “me” time went out the window. If you’re not familiar with “me” time, it just means being alone. It can be anything from going to the grocery store alone, saying yes to various activities, enjoying a coffee, working on something, and anything else without the constant fighting of the children in the background. My mental capabilities are deteriorating. My diet was ravaged by hot dogs, s’mores, and birthday cake, so guess who’s on track? Not me. With that I will say, this was our best summer ever. And my diet started last week.

Whiner! That is what my husband will say when he reads this. It’s true, I’ll admit it. It can work both ways. I’m annoyed when my kids are home and annoyed when they’re gone. I’m happy during the week days when they are gone and happy during the weekend when they’re home. Truly, it’s just based on my perspective. I’ll miss my kids and the spontaneity of taking them places, but also we’ll all be happy to have structure again.

Structure is good. It’s a pattern to how we live. We adjust to these patterns, like when we eat, when we sleep, or when we take the Readers Digest into the bathroom. My kids becoming robots at school has never been an issue, we’re not a Doctor Who episode. Being a part of a community again will be fun! Ok well, my extrovert son loves it, my introvert daughter is more interested in learning something new. In the thirty two and a half hours a week they are with other people, there will be pros and woes. I know how this works.

One such pattern is that every year that goes by, I also learn something new. Brand new. Because kids change, it’s inevitable. Pretending everything will be perfect is not my style. If I’m nervous about them going to school it’s because I love and care for them as if they were my own. Well, they are my own. We’re all going to adjust to the pattern again and my hesitations are just mommy ones. So if you feel it too, you’re not alone, and it’s ok.

Here’s the thing, I love my kids, but don’t get me wrong they drive me nuts. Should I have said that the other way around? I don’t know anymore. Same speech as usual, keep positive, be nice to the faculty, offer to help the teachers if you can, and give big hugs before and after school. I meant the kids, but the teachers will probably need them too. Have a happy school year everyone!

Kasi McClure enjoys being a wife and mother of two in Kenai. She can be reached at columnkasi@gmail.com.

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